Ethnographic Persona: Information Design through the Ethnographic Lens

If it is our serious purpose to understand the thoughts of a people the whole analysis of experience must be based upon their concepts, not oursFranz Boas (1943, 11)

The actual set of methods to build useful and usable information systems neglect a very important part of our world: our language as fundament of our view of the world. The consequences are misleading and difficult to use websites. This is because information architects normally present their world through their language, which are different from the user’s. Conventional information design methods don’t care about this. From an ethnographic point of view, this can be avoided and improved.

Therefore, this paper will be structured the following way: First, I will give a short overview over typical information design methods, navigation solutions as well as their strong and weak aspects.
Second, I will describe in short ethnographical methods as well as how and when they could be applied in an information design project. I will also present reference works of other authors who proposed similar ideas and techniques for ethnographical information design.
Finally, I will formulate my own ideas and possibilities of use of ethnographical techniques, which are not considered yet in the scientific literature.


4 Responses to “Ethnographic Persona: Information Design through the Ethnographic Lens”

  1. [...] this section of this paper, I will briefly give an overview about ethnographic methods used in the field. The objective here [...]

  2. [...] this first section of this paper, I will outline the possibilities we (as users of a web site) have to navigate. This will lead to [...]

  3. [...] this section of this article, I will describe how ethnographic methods can be used in the development of information [...]

  4. [...] this final section of this paper, I will present my own ideas how to exploit the richness of ethnographical methodology for the [...]

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